Move over, podcasting, it’s swarmcasting’s turn?

by Yule Heibel on July 16, 2005

On my surfing voyages through the world of e-learning, I came across The Friday Report‘s pointer to a blog called Socrates Technological University, whose entry Amazing New Software Turns Any Computer into A TV Station points to a new tool called Alluvium. Their website explains,

Alluvium is a technology for doing low-cost streaming media broadcasts. However, it uses a very different approach from existing streaming servers such as icecast, Real Server, and the Quicktime Streaming Server. In fact, all you need server-side is a standard web server. You don’t even need any modules or CGI scripts.

The first thing you need to run an Alluvium station is a playlist. This is a simple file in the Alluvium playlist format, which is based on the RSS 1.0 news format. All of the RSS tags used are standard tags from existing schemas and which retain their intended semantics. Radio station playlists and RSS newsfeeds are really quite similar. They both specify a sequence of content of possible interest to the audience. One interesting side project to do would be creating audio and video weblogs and news stations which are created by aggregating multimedia feeds about particular topics. For the moment, however, we’re working on simple music and voice broadcast. You can generate an Alluvium playlist file easily from a normal music play playlist file using the playlist generation tool. [More…]

Ok, I’m a technopeasant, so this is still all hieroglyphics to me, but the suggestion seems to be that it’s easy enough…

For more information, see the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s article, ‘Swarmcasting’ Software Developed at U. of Texas-Austin Lets Anyone Run an Internet TV Station:

Internet television is not a completely new concept, says Mr. Lopez, who has run stations of his own online in the past. But swarmcasting software could democratize the technology, he says, just as “podcasting” software has done for online audio distribution. “This is a much more efficient way of running a station for someone with just a cable modem,” he says. “We’re trying to make it so anyone can use this software.”

Mr. Lopez and Mr. Wiley are serious about spreading the gospel of Internet television. They plan, for example, to post their program online as open-source software. And they are preparing a pair of how-to guides to accompany the program. One will discuss the technological requirements for an online TV channel, and the other will offer tips on using a station to build a community of filmmakers and artists. [More…]

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